32938 Michael "Mick" Corcoran
13th Company, 3rd Battalion
New Zealand Canterbury Regiment
29th November 1917
Born on 13/01/1894 in Nelson Creek, Grey,
West Coast New Zealand.
His parents were Thomas Corcoran(28/12/1838-
29/08/1902) and Susan O'Brien(26/10/1864-
Michael had 3 Brothers, James(10/02/1884-05/10/1972), John(23/04/1888-27/07/1899) and Thomas(13/03/1892-03/09/1963).
He also had 3 sisters, Mary(19/02/1886-11/03/1968), Cecelia(11/06/1890-23/11/1978) and Ellen Regis(13/12/1895-24/09/1983).
He enlisted on 27/07/1916 at Trentham Camp, having previously served with A Company 13th Regiment Territorials,
whilst employed as a surveyor for the New Zealand Government .
His medical had taken place earlier on 03/06/1916, details of which follow;
Apparent Age - 22 years
Height - 5ft 71/2 inches, Weight - 168lbs
Chest Measurement - Minimum - 34 inches, Maximum - 38 inches
Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes - Grey, Colour of Hair - Brown.
Religious Profession - Roman Catholic.
He was posted to H Company 19th Reinforcements on 27/07/1916.
On 19/10/1916 he was found guilty of overstaying his leave and awarded 1 days loss of pay.
With his basic training complete, Michael embarked for his journey to England aboard HMNZT 68 "Maunganui" from Wellington on 15/11/1916. He dis-embarked in Devonport England on 29/01/1917,marching into Sling Camp on the same day.
He was to stay here for 2 months before being marched into Codford to join up with the C.I.R. 4th Infantry Brigade on 30/03/1917. A few days late on 02/04/1917, he joined 3rd Battalion Canterbury Battalion. and was posted to 13th Company.
Michael stayed at Codford until he was sent to France on 25/05/1917.
He was slightly wounded in action, but remained with his unit on 11/06/1917.
On 17/08/1917, Michael was appointed Company Cook, a role he carried out until he relinquished it on 29/11/1917, sadly the same day he was killed in action.
Michael was a friend of Stephen Ralph Mills, Serial No 32958, and, as can be seen by the closeness of serial numbers, they enlisted together. Ralph (as he was known) wrote a letter home to Michael's sister Cecelia (Cis) after Michael's death detailing some of the circumstances around Michael's death, i.e., Michael was a company cook delivering food to the front line when he fell victim to shelling.* Auckland Museum.
Greymouth Evening Star, 20 December 1917 page 5
Roll of Honour
Private Michael Corcoran.
Another Greymouth boy has made the supreme sacrifice on the battlefields of France. We refer to Michael Corcoran, the beloved and third son of Mrs Corcoran. Of Brick Street. Greymouth. Last evening the esteemed lady received a message from Sir James Allen conveying the sad intelligence that her son had been killed in action. “Mick” before he enlisted was employed at the Dispatch Foundry, where he was a favourite with all and amongst whom the news of his death caused genuine sorrow. He was
22 years of age, a bright youth whose death many mourn. He sailed with the 19th Reinforcements. A brother is serving with the colours in France.
Greymouth Evening Star 22 December 1917 page 4
Corcoran – Killed in action on November 28th, 1917, Michael, fourth son of the late Michael Corcoran and of Mrs Corcoran of Greymouth, and late of Nelson Creek. Aged 23.